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Friday, August 15, 2008

Jodhpur



The sprawling Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur has many folklores and legends woven around it that recount the romantic and chivalrous expeditions of the past. The erstwhile royal residence that has now been turned into a glorious heritage hotel known as Umaid Bhawan Palace is the pride of Jodhpur and has been identified as the largest personal residence which figures substantially amongs the best art-deco buildings of India. The sense of serenity pervades the city with the pale blue color that envelops the city's palaces, havelis, temples and houses, perhaps to counter the scorching rays of the desert sun. People of Jodhpur are friendly and are dressed in bright hues to counter the barren look of the city and welcome the guests with warm hospitality. Crowded Bazaars present a fair-like scene too and are quite interesting.
As the name suggests, the city was founded by the ruler of Marwar, Suryavanshi Rao Jodha as the capital of his princely state. It was a major trading center too as it was situated on the trade routes between Central Asia and the ports of Gujarat in the 16th century. The textiles and crafts of the city are famous even today. The Marwar Festival held in October for two days is also known as the 'Maand Festival' is perhaps the best even organized to showcase the folk art and culture of Jodhpur, especially the songs and dance of the Marwar region. It was called 'Maand', after the classical style of folk music of the region that featured songs on romance and chivalry of Rajput rulers. The folk dance performances of the festival are great. Besides the folklores and folk songs, the other events highlighted in the festival are horse riding, horse polo and several competitions.
Jodhpur's Prime Attractions
Mehrangarh Fort The impenetrable fort built by Rao Jodha, it is situated on a vertical hill and is known for classic views, delicate latticed windows, intricately carved panels and graceful porches. The complex has some of the most beautiful edifices such as Moti Mahal or Pearl Palace, Phool Mahal or Flower Palace, Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana. It also houses the second largest cannon in Asia. The fort is simply a giant in its family. The museum shop here offers some of the best collection of handicrafts, books and literature.


Umaid Bhawan Palace The 20th century edifice is as interesting in its conception, as it is in architecture. The palace was conceived as a famine relief project to provide employment to the people during the great famine that lasted 16 years! The fabulous architecture of Umaid Bhawan Palace is worth seeing and has been maintained well. The museum of the palace showcases some of the erstwhile regal mementos such as the clocks, tea sets, paintings, royal costumes and other trivia. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel, though a part of it still serves as the residence of the erstwhile royalty.
Jaswant Thada The 19th century royal cenotaph built near the fort complex is the white marble marvel and serves as the memorial of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. It also houses some of the portraits of Jodhpur's precedent rulers, the intricate latticework and elaborately carved doors. The tranquil surroundings are enhanced by the presence of a beautifully designed garden and water tank in front of the cenotaph.
Jodhpur City Facts
Location: Situated in Western Rajasthan, India. It is 308 km from Jaisalmer, 331 km from Jaipur and 589 km from New Delhi.
Climate: Extreme climate and scanty rainfall in Jodhpur conforms to the typical desert climate.

How to Reach:
By Air: Jaisalmer Airport in cantonment area and managed ny Indian Air Force has regular flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur.
By Train: Trains connect Jodhpur to all the major cities of India, the most popular trains being Jodhpur-Jaipur Intercity Express, Jodhpur-Kota Express and Jodhpur-Bikaner Passenger.
By Road: Luxury coaches and good roads connect Jaisalmer to the major cities of Rajasthan such as Bikaner, Jaipur and Jaisalmer.

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